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Evidence of meeting #42 for Fisheries and Oceans in the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was commission.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

Robert Lambe  Commissioner, Great Lakes Fishery Commission
Chris Goddard  Executive Secretary, Great Lakes Fishery Commission
Marc Gaden  Communications Director and Legislative Liaison, Great Lakes Fishery Commission

5:05 p.m.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay Liberal Cardigan, PE

But they do.

5:05 p.m.

Communications Director and Legislative Liaison, Great Lakes Fishery Commission

Dr. Marc Gaden

But they do. What that means is that the fine, or the potential of the penalty, is not deterring the movement of it. It means that the law enforcement is not as strong as it should be.

We need fish and wildlife service agents, which have the authority to do this, in the states, at the point of departure, and we need them monitoring the movement of these species. We need the agencies to then be able to share information. They should coordinate with the state troopers, for example, or even with the Canadian border officials. They need to do a much better job sharing information and being ready to stop these before they even get into the Great Lakes basin.

5:05 p.m.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay Liberal Cardigan, PE

Mr. Lambe, you indicated in your opening statement that we did not learn the lessons we should have. I'd like you to elaborate on that.

5:05 p.m.

Commissioner, Great Lakes Fishery Commission

Robert Lambe

What we mean is that long after sea lamprey entered the Great Lakes system, we continue to have the introduction of aquatic invasive species at the rate of one every six or eight months, actually.

5:05 p.m.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay Liberal Cardigan, PE

So it's not enough funding, not enough education, and not enough enforcement. It's the whole gamut.

5:05 p.m.

Commissioner, Great Lakes Fishery Commission

Robert Lambe

I would say that it's a combination of all of that.

5:05 p.m.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay Liberal Cardigan, PE

Okay, thank you.

Dr., do you do a lot of work with universities? Do you do a lot of research with universities?

Does all your funding come from the governments in the U.S. and Canada?

5:05 p.m.

Executive Secretary, Great Lakes Fishery Commission

5:05 p.m.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay Liberal Cardigan, PE

Do you do much research with universities, or much with the private sector, or any?

5:05 p.m.

Executive Secretary, Great Lakes Fishery Commission

Dr. Chris Goddard

We do research with universities on two fronts. First, as Dr. Gaden indicated, the commission has a responsibility to coordinate, conduct, and communicate research. As a component of that, we have two research programs. One is called our fishery research program, and the other is our sea lamprey research program. What happens through those is that we put out small calls for research projects through universities. The pre-proposals come in and go through peer review, and we award research contracts, primarily to universities, to do research on both fisheries and on sea lamprey.

We also have another very unique and very effective program with the universities. That is with Michigan State University in Michigan. Marc and I are both adjunct at Michigan State as well as at the University of Michigan. We have an agreement with Michigan State University and with the University of Guelph. Basically, what we've done is hire research scientists at those universities. They exist in the academic environment. The commission pays their salaries and benefits and some of their operating costs, and they do research on various aspects of sea lamprey control.

What happens is that, because they're in the university setting, they are very effective at bringing in additional research dollars from a variety of organizations. We have one star at Michigan State University who probably, over the last five or six years, in addition to the money we've provided to him, has probably brought in about $1 million a year in additional research contracts.

5:05 p.m.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay Liberal Cardigan, PE

It is from the private sector.

5:05 p.m.

Executive Secretary, Great Lakes Fishery Commission

Dr. Chris Goddard

It is from the private sector and from funding organizations. Yes, sir.

5:05 p.m.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay Liberal Cardigan, PE

Given this research in universities, could you tell us some of the key recommendations you receive from these universities? And were some of the recommendations put forth by the universities not put in place that should have been put in place?

5:10 p.m.

Executive Secretary, Great Lakes Fishery Commission

Dr. Chris Goddard

Currently the largest recommendation that we've had from universities has been primarily from the University of Minnesota and Michigan State University, and that is all of the research that is ongoing in terms of our sea lamprey pheromone work. Those recommendations have been put in place. One of the things we're looking at now is doing field trials, because we think that will significantly impact our ability to improve our trapping for lamprey.

Another very critical piece of research we've had, which has played a huge role in our program, was research that was funded at Michigan State University, again through the PERM scientist, looking at the way we made our determination on which streams we were going to treat.

You can understand you don't go in holus-bolus and treat all the streams. You want to treat the streams when it's the exact time to treat them. Some research at Michigan State University showed we could do it in a much more cost-effective way. The way we were able to roll it into our control program, saved us a great deal of money in terms of assessment.

Another really key one, which happened about 15 years ago, was a research program led by the University of Guelph looking at the barrier program and the impact that had on diversity within the system. We found that when we constructed a barrier in a stream, by and large we reduced the biodiversity within that stream by about two-and-a-half species—one of those being sea lamprey. As a result, we ended up taking a different approach to our barriers to make sure we had fish passage associated with those barriers.

5:10 p.m.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay Liberal Cardigan, PE

Do you do much work—?

5:10 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Rodney Weston

I'm sorry.

5:10 p.m.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay Liberal Cardigan, PE

Again, they cut me off. You missed a real good question.

5:10 p.m.

Voices

Oh, oh!

5:10 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Rodney Weston

Gentlemen, on behalf of the entire committee, I'd like to thank you today for appearing before this committee and providing such great information for us to apply to our study as we go forward.

If you have anything further to add to any questions or comments that might have come out of the meeting today, please feel free to forward them to our committee clerk. We'll ensure they get distributed to all committee members.

Thank you very much, once again, on behalf of the entire committee.

Committee members, we'll suspend for a moment while our witnesses are excused, and then we'll move on to other business.

Thank you.

5:10 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Rodney Weston

We have a couple of pieces of business to take care of today. Mr. Leef signalled to me before we started that he'd like to move his motion as well.

Mr. Allen.

5:10 p.m.

Conservative

Mike Allen Conservative Tobique—Mactaquac, NB

Are we going to be talking about two motions here today, or just the one?

5:10 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Rodney Weston

One is a notice of motion.

5:10 p.m.

Conservative

Mike Allen Conservative Tobique—Mactaquac, NB

I guess consistent with our policy in terms of discussing committee business, I move that we go in camera.

5:10 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Rodney Weston

It has been moved by Mr. Allen that we move in camera.

(Motion agreed to)

We'll take a moment to go in camera.

[Proceedings continue in camera]